The effects of medical negligence can be frustrating and even catastrophic for a victim, especially if the injury sustained as a result of negligent care has completely disrupted your life. Medical negligence happens when a healthcare provider causes avoidable harm. When the duty of care owed a patient has been violated, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim. But how much could this claim be worth?
If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence and are unsure about the value of your claim, you are not alone. Victims are often in a dilemma when it comes to medical negligence claims because predicting exactly how much you will receive as compensation for your claim is impossible. It is common for victims and families to think that certain injuries attract specific compensation amounts, but in reality, the type and degree of injury, pain, recovery time and financial impact on the family are taken into account.
Keep in mind that even a medical negligence compensation calculator cannot provide perfectly accurate amounts since every case is unique. However, it can give you an idea about how much compensation you may receive for your case.
What Are the Specifics You Can Claim for in a Medical Negligence Case?
Before your medical negligence solicitor can tell you how much compensation to expect, they will gather relevant evidence needed to prove that the healthcare provider acted negligently, and this negligence has caused you injury. Payments for compensation are largely divided into two parts, and they are calculated separately.
- General Damages
General damages consider the physical implications of your injury, that is, the degree of injury sustained as well as the pain and suffering you have endured. There are industry-wide guidelines that medical negligence solicitors and judges use to map out medical negligence compensation amounts for different injury types. The Judicial Studies Board (JSB) annually updates these figures to align with the most recent claims and compensations amounts.
However, legal and medical experts work with a compensation range when trying to work out claim amounts for victims. For instance, a person who has sustained a head injury can expect to receive in excess of £200,000, and possibly more, depending on the extent of injury and the impact on the victim’s quality of life. Whereas, one who has suffered minor injuries such as scarring or superficial burning may be able to claim no more than £5,000.
- Special Damages
Special damages consider the financial impact on the life of the victim who has suffered medical negligence. In most cases, the victim may not be able to resume work for a period of time after the incident since he or she may need some time to recover fully. Special damage compensation is designed to cover the money lost within this period. These damages include cost of medication, travel cost to and from medical appointments, accommodation adjustment costs. The special damages list could also include many other financially related factors, depending on the case presented before the court. The goal of this compensation is to get the victim back to the life he or she lived before the incidence, ensuring they are as comfortable as possible.
Medical Negligence Compensation Claims Breakdown
|reason for claim||average compensation amount||description|
|Chest Injury||£66,000 to £100,000||Severe injury to the chest, lung or heart. This may lead to the removal of lung.|
|Brain Injury||£185,000 to £265,000||Severe damage to the brain with little chance of recovery.|
|Pelvic and Hip Injury||£51,000 to £86,000||Severe injury to the hip, back and internal organs, as well as recurring pain. Lifelong disability that may cause sexual dysfunction.|
|Shoulder Injury||£12,500 to £32,000||Shoulder injury affecting the neck, leading to disability and restricted function.|
|Arm Injury||£65,000 to £200,000||Amputation of one elbow below the arm or one arm above the elbow; amputation of one or both arms.|
|Hand Injury||£30,000 to £130,000||Disfigurement or amputation of some fingers; loss of function. Loss of one or both hands.|
|Leg Injury||£55,000 to £180,000||Amputation of an arm below the knee or loss of one leg above the knee. Amputation of both legs under the knee; total loss of both legs.|
|Ankle Injury||£22,000 to £55,000||Pain and limited stability; soft tissue damage, ankle fracture disfigurement and potential vulnerability in future.|
What Can You Claim if Death Occurs Due to Medical Negligence?
As is the case with any victim in a medical negligence case, compensation can be claimed for general damages, special damages, medical expenses, travel expenses, and when there is death, funeral expenses. However, trying to estimate the payout value for medical negligence cases involving death can be complicated. The following compensation guide table gives you an idea about what to expect in a medical negligence case, depending on the severity level.
While the figures in this guide are not cast in stone especially as they may not apply to your case, it helps you understand how certain medical conditions and certain levels of severity can impact the final compensation amount.
|REASON FOR CLAIM||AVERAGE COMPENSATION AMOUNT||DESCRIPTION|
|Death (baseline)||£12,000 to £300,000||An all-inclusive figure rolling different compensation types into one.|
|Death (unconsciousness after a brief period of awareness)||£8,000 to £10,650||Severe injuries leading to full unconsciousness within 3 hours, and ultimately death within 2 weeks.|
|Death (unconscious death within a week)||£1,050 to £2,125||Severe injury leading to sudden loss of unconsciousness, and death within a week.|
|Death (full awareness)||£15,950 to £18,100||Full awareness of current condition despite severe injuries; death within 2 weeks.|
|Death (unconsciousness within 6 weeks)||£6,400||Severe injury leading to a sudden loss of consciousness; death within 6 weeks.|
|Mental anguish||£3,500||Mental stress, worry and trauma as a result of impending death.|
|Pain and suffering||£1,000 to £200,000||Depending on the victim’s degree of suffering.|
|Loss of earnings||£10,000 to £400,000||Compensation to cover the victim’s actual loss of earnings.|
|Punitive damages||£1,000 to £275,000||Could be even higher in certain cases.|
|Loss of benefits||£5,000 to £500,000||Compensation to cover the victim’s actual loss of benefits.|
|Funeral costs||£3,000 to £10,000||Could be even higher in certain cases.|
|Loss of companionship and care for family members||£2,000 to £100,000||Compensation to cover suffering endured; could be even higher in certain cases.|
How to Claim Compensation for Medical Negligence?
Contacting a medical negligence solicitor is the first step in a successful compensation claim. The solicitor will help you determine whether you have a have the legal right to request compensation, and ascertain whether the negligence caused your injury.
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If there is ground to establish a medical negligence compensation claim, your solicitor will help you gather evidence to prove negligent care as well as demonstrate the impact the injury has had on your physical and financial life. Your solicitor will also notify the other party of your desire to request compensation so they can make their own findings and conduct research.
It is also the duty of your medical negligence solicitor to negotiate with the legal team representing the other party to ensure an agreement is reached on a fair compensation amount. If the other party refuses to accept liability or does not wish to compensate you appropriately, your solicitor may recommend that your claim be submitted to a court where the evidence from both sides can be reviewed by a competent judge, before a legally binding verdict is made.
When your compensation claim is successful, you also agree that you cannot request further compensation if, in future, the impact of the injury worsens or you believe you are now entitled to receive more value for your compensation claim. As a result, it is important that you speak with your medical negligence solicitor before you accept any compensation offer, especially if this offer was not made through your attorney.
As no two medical negligence cases are the same, the amount of tax charged on a compensation amount will depend on individual circumstances.
How Long Does a Medical Negligence Case Take?
Each medical negligence case is unique. As a result, the length of the claim process can depend on a range of factors, including whether the other party has admitted liability and the complexity of the claim case. Your medical negligence solicitor will advice guide you through the claim process, and further advice you on how long they think your claim case will take.